The Yakovlev Yak-18 was a 2 seater
Soviet trainer. Maiden flight was in 1947 and it was built aprox. 9000 times in various versions. After 10 years of occupation Austria gained back it's sovereignty as a Nation by signing the Austrian state treaty in 1955. That implemented to build up an independent and autonomous army and air force to assure
proper self-defense. Let's discuss the others about the fact if this approach was ever executed in a comprehensive and proper way. The prerequisites and frame work for Austria, to do so, were pretty bad after the
Second World War. Finally there were some vague promises from US side along with the "Military Assistance Program" and some indications from Soviet side to probably give away some planes for free.
Mid November 1955 it happened that 4 crates of disassembled and packed Yak-18 and another 4 boxes with Yak-11 were delivered per train to the airbase in Langenlebarn. Under supervision of Soviet engineers in only a couple of weeks the planes were built together. And on December 9th it was done - the first Yak-18 with serial number 10127, the later 3A-AB, was lifting off to a one hour flight. This was the first time after 17 years that an aircraft was flying again for the Austrian Air Forces.
I'm a fan of "short run kits" as you have the chance to build models that a less "mainstream". The disadvantage is the fact that the casting mold shows very often bad quality - same with this old kit from Amodel. Thick sprues, flashes here and sink marks there - a lot of filler material is needed. The canopy is thick too and in fact not really transparent - a lot of polishing and a dive into "clear" was needed. The Cockpit shows less details despite the big canopy: a simple plate, two seats, two panels - done. As the Windows a big with good insight I did add some details from my scratch box. I did this model couple years ago, so I do not remember exactly where I had the decals from. But I guess I ordered them from IPMS Austria. I added the sign 3A-AB - for the first aircraft that lifted off for the first time for the new Austrian Air Force in late 1955.
Juergen "jott" Klinglhuber
Photos and text © by Juergen "jott" Klinglhuber